Linköping’s Remand Prison 1806-1892, Norrköping’s Prison 1826-1886 and Spinning House 1814-1920

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Detail from the prisoner's records
Detail from the prisoner's records

Linköping’s Remand Prison

The material is a register of prisoners who were search and remanded in Linköping’s Remand Prison (a part of Linköping’s central prison or cell house). Prisoners under transportation from one prison to another who needed to be house overnight in Linköping are also included. Linköping’s cell house was originally an experimental prison, an idea originally from USA (the Philadelphia system): each prisoner got their own cell, with the idea that each prisoner should be kept isolated from the others. The thinking was that this would make it is easier to reform the prisoners. The prisons were not solely for men as occasionally women were incarcerated as well.

Over its first century, prison went through three phases: a county cell house, a term prison and a remand prison. The Linköping prison was completed during the summer of 1846 and for its time was very modern, with central heating. It comprised 106 cells, of which 96 were standard cells and 10 exercise areas. Up until 1910 the prison operated as a county cell house while between 1911 and 1940 it was a term prison and it was not until later that it became a remand prison. Between 1917 and 1922, the prison was for youth offenders and included a school. The first of July, 1946, the remand prison was closed, but was re-opened in 1957. It continued to operate until its final closure in November 1966 and demolition in 1969.

Detail from the Spinning house records
Detail from the Spinning house records

Norrköping’s Prison and Spinning House

The concept of a Spinning House as a prison (where female prisoners (beggars, prostitutes and petty thieves)  were incarcerated and expected to work in textile production) began in Europe in the 16th century, first in Amsterdam (1597). The first in Sweden was in Stockholm in 1724. The male equivalent of a Spinning house was a Rasp House.

The first “real” Spinning House in Norrköping was opened in 1742 in the Saltängen area. On the 15th of May, 1783, King Gustav III decided to build Norrköping’s Spinning House and in 1790 it was completed. In 1918 the Spinning House concept was stopped and the building was used as a youth-crime centre between 1918 and 1927. After that it became Norrköping’s prison, serving as both term prison and remand prison.

The database contains 36 250 records with informatiion about:

  • Prisoner’s identity number
  • Transport prisoner’s number
  • Admission date
  • Gender
  • Name (for- and family name)
  • Profession
  • Birth year
  • Age
  • City of Birth
  • Residence
  • Physical description
  • Reason for remand and where
  • Courthouse where suspect was tried
  • Type of crime
  • Reason why punishment was not implemented
  • When the suspcet finaly was sentenced and to what punishment
  • Date of punishment
  • Punishment during the original sentence
  • Notes on prisoner’s behaviour
  • Possessions and money accompanying prisoner upon arrest
  • Possessions and money returned to prisoner upon release
  • Release, notes
  • Date of release
  • Number of days in prison
  • Special notes
  • Source

Transcription to Database

The database of prison records for Linköping’s Remand Prison covers the period 1806–1892, volumes DIIIaa:75–106. The prison records for Norrköping’s Prison cover the period 1826 to 1886, volumes DIIIa1:1-32 and the prison records for the Spinning House i Norrköping cover 1814–1920, volumes DIIIa1:1–33.

The transcription from the original tomes to the on-line databases has maintained the notation, spelling, etc. of the original documents. The exception is that dates have been written in the modern style, to be more compatible with on-line searching. All transcription was done directly from the originals and the Regional Archives in Vadstena, Sweden, supplied all the fines registers. ArkivData in Norrköping have carried out digitalization of the originals.

References to the Database

Linköping’s Remand Prison: Regional Archives in Vadstena,Linköping’s Remand Prison, 1806–1892, volumes DIIIaa:75–106. Linköping University Electronic Press

Norrköping’s Prison: Regional Archives in Vadstena, Norrköping’s Prison, 1826–1886, volumes DIIIa1:1-32. Linköping University Electronic Press

Norrköping’s Spinning House: Regional Archives in Vadstena, Norrköping’s Spinning House,, 1814–1920, volumes DIIIa1:1–33. Linköping University Electronic Press

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